2017 enrollment: Homeschool affects county rolls books

Published 12:52 am Thursday, October 12, 2017

Homeschooling and virtual campuses have contributed to an 81-student decline in enrollment for Covington County Schools.

The Covington County Schools system released average daily membership numbers, which they are required to submit to the state department of education, on Wednesday.

Each year, systems are required to submit enrollment number that record average daily membership (ADM) or daily enrollment.

Those numbers, which are gathered based on attendance the first 20 days after Labor Day, are used to determine the level of funding for a system, which includes teacher salaries for the following budget year.

Covington County Schools’ ADM was 3,049, down 81 students from last year’s 3,130.

Comparatively, 20 years ago, in the 1997-1998 school year, Covington County Schools had 3,291 students or 242 more than this year. This year it is tied with the 2009-2010 school year for the lowest enrollment at 3,049.

The following is a breakdown of enrollment numbers by school and includes pre-K.

  • Fleeta Junior High School – 16, an increase of 12 from last year;
  • Florala High School, 226, an increase of 24 from last year;
  • Pleasant Home School – 555, a decrease of eight from last year;
  • Red Level Elementary School, 321, a decrease of 28 from last year;
  • Red Level High School, 256, a decrease of six from last year;
  • Straughn Elementary School, 588, a decrease of eight from last year;
  • Straughn Middle School, 275, a decrease of 10 from last year;
  • Straughn High School, 385, a decrease of 31 from last year;
  • WS Harlan Elementary School, 277, a decrease of 26 from last year.

“We are glad to see some of our schools such as Fleeta and Florala High School are up,” Covington County Schools Superintendent Shannon Driver said. “We have been seeing a trend of students leaving for homeschooling and virtual school programs over the last three to four years. The legislature changed some of the rules and we have seen a lot more in the county. It’s impossible to track, but from what we have seen that is the case.”